A mother remains a mother


"Delete adjectives!" - That's one of the most important master tricks I teach in my writing seminars. I always say: "The 'bad disaster is not as bad as 'the disaster. In this case, the 'bad' steals the emphasis from the 'disaster'."

Actually, I should have said: "Delete superfluous adjectives!" Because if you differentiate or evaluate, you should, indeed must, use adjectives. My examples: “the red pants” or “the great book”. For this reason, the adjective "superfluous" is not superfluous in "Remove superfluous adjectives!" Because you shouldn't just delete all adjectives.

As you see, I delayed saying what I wanted to say. Actually, I don't want to say it, just present it. A sentence from a short story by the American author Danzy Senna:

"No matter how badly, carelessly, halfheartedly, or unhappily one did it, you remained a mother. Bad mother, good mother, here mother, gone mother. The adjectives changed but the noun remained the same. You were a mother. There was no changing that."

  (Danzy Senna: You Are Free, in: Same: You are Free. Stories, New York, NY, 137-157, here: 146f.)

Needless to say, this short story is about a mother who gave her child up for adoption.

And yes, I too think she remains a mother, no matter what adjectives are ascribed to her. A mother remains a mother.

I see I've stayed general. So, I try again:

My mother remains my mother.

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